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SRM - Live Auction - Issues with Bidder Access

Dear SRM GURUS,

I am on SRM 7.02, Level 5 (SAPK-70205INSRMSRV) using the classic scenario, using Bidding (RFx/Auction) in SRM server.  We are using NWBC (and we are NOT using SAP Portal).

Can anyone recommend how we can have bidders (i.e. users external to our company) log into SRM to respond to RFx / participate in live auctions?  We have a solution (see below), but it is not working in all cases, and wanted to know if there was another approach to resolve this problem.

Currently our SRM system can only be accessed by internal users (i.e. users internal at our company) as they are within our company network.  When a bidder tries to launch the SRM URL, they “get page cannot be displayed” as they are outside the company network.  In order to allow external users (e.g. bidders) to access SRM, our BASIS team set up a reverse proxy solution – see below.

Our current solution: 

  • In order to allow external users (e.g. bidders) to access SRM, our BASIS team set up a reverse proxy solution.  i.e. when the bidder enters the SRM URL https://externallink.srm.com, it is translated (domain) internally to https://internallink.srm.com.  So behind the proxy, the real URL https://internallink.srm.com is requested from the server, however in the browser the bidder still sees the https://externallink.srm.com. Thanks to this, it is possible to control (and limit) the access to the SRM system from outside the company network.
  • All works well, except when the bidder presses the button “LIVE AUCTION”.  In this case, the system opens a new session (new window), but the URL in this window is not https://externallink.srm.com; but instead, it is https://internallink.srm.com.  Because the domain https://internallink.srm.com is not accessible from “outside”, the page cannot be displayed and therefore, the live auction cannot be started.
  • Technically, the BSP application /SAPSRM/BSP_JAVA_APPLET is executed and the controller appletInvoker.do.  Behind this controller, there stands the real URL https://internallink.srm.com, taken from the server parameters. 
  • How to solve this problem, so that the system opens the new session with the URL (domain), which was originally used https://externallink.srm.com, or perhaps there is another approach to resolve this?
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